A new traffic order will stop vehicles above 3.5 tons entering Station Square from Academy Street in the heart of Inverness.
Inverness councillors agreed to the changes at the city committee yesterday after hearing of concerns raised by Highland Council enforcement officers and the police about large vehicles, such as coaches, reversing from the square into Academy Street.
Ali Nairne, of the council’s community services, said: “The enforcement officers and police have seen it happening.
“They consider that with the parking in the square there is not enough space to allow larger vehicles to come out in forward gear, it’s dangerous and the drivers don’t have reasonable visibility.”
Council officials originally wanted to impose a limit of 3 tons for vehicles wishing to enter the square but agreed to raise the limit to 3.5 tons after an objection on behalf of community groups wishing to drop elderly and vulnerable people off at the Royal Highland Hotel for regular social events by minibus.
Councillor Ron MacWilliam said banning all vehicles from entering the square should have been considered by an option with a view to redesigning it as a civic space.
Officials said this would not be possible due to the Royal Highland hotel’s lease arrangements for the space alongside the hotel.
Councillor Trish Robertson said she was concerned about where buses and coaches would unload guests for the hotel.
She said: “There is space at the back of the hotel in Station Lane but buses reversing out of there is not acceptable either.”